First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

R&B singer R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in s...

Newsdeck

R. Kelly sentenced

R&B singer R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex case

(FILE) - US singer R. Kelly stands under an umbrella looking for his vehicle as he leaves court at the Leighton Criminal Courts building after a status hearing on his sexual assault charges in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 07 May 2019 (reissued 12 July 2019). According to reports, R. Kelly was arrested on 11 July with new charges of sexual assault, including child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. EPA-EFE/TANNEN MAURY
By Reuters
30 Jun 2022 0

NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) - R Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison, following the multiplatinum R&B singer's conviction for exploiting his stardom and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex.

By Luc Cohen

The sentence was imposed nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes, in a trial that amplified accusations that had dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit “I Believe I Can Fly” for two decades. Read full story

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the evidence reflected Kelly’s “indifference to human suffering” and “sheer brutality” toward his victims.

“This case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control,” Donnelly told Kelly. “You left in your wake a trail of broken lives.”

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is among the most prominent people convicted of sexual misbehavior during the #MeToo movement against such conduct by prominent men.

He did not speak during Wednesday’s hearing, but has repeatedly denied sexual abuse accusations.

 

DO YOU REMEMBER THAT?’

The sentencing came after several accusers, some of whom were tearful, told the judge about how Kelly promised to mentor them and help them attain stardom, only to subject them to degrading sexual treatment and physical harm.

Many said the abuse led to mental health problems that persist.

“As a teenager, I didn’t know how to say no to R Kelly when he asked me to perform oral sex on him,” said a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 2.

She then paused, looked at Kelly, and asked, “Do you remember that?”

Kelly wore a black face mask and beige prison clothing to his sentencing.

Several accusers testified during the 5-1/2 week trial about how Kelly would demand that his victims strictly obey his rules

These included needing his permission go to the bathroom, calling him “Daddy,” and writing “apology letters” that purported to absolve Kelly of wrongdoing, among others.

The alleged victims included the singer Aaliyah, who prosecutors said Kelly fraudulently married when she was 15 to conceal earlier abuse. Aaliyah died in 2001.

 

NO REMORSE

He was convicted on nine criminal charges, including one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting people across state lines for prostitution.

Prosecutors had urged a prison sentence of more than 25 years, saying Kelly had demonstrated a “callous disregard” for his victims and shown no remorse. Read full story

Defense lawyers said Kelly deserved no more than 10 years, the mandatory minimum, arguing that his history as an abused child may have led to his adult “hypersexuality,” and that he no longer posed a threat. Read full story

“This court must distinguish between what is boorish and bad behavior, and what is criminal conduct,” Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said prior to the sentencing.

Kelly has been in jail since July 2019.

He will likely be transported soon to a jail in Chicago, where he faces an August trial in federal court on child pornography and obstruction charges. He also faces various state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

 

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Richard Chang and Nick Zieminski)


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted